Harold J. Stone

Active - 1956 - 1981  |   Born - Mar 3, 1913 in New York City, New York  |   Died - Nov 18, 2005   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Western, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A third-generation actor, Harold J. Stone made his stage debut at age six with his father, Jacob Hochstein, in the Yiddish-language play White Slaves. Stone had one line--"Mama!"--which he managed to forget on opening night. He didn't act again until after his graduation from New York University. After gleaning valuable experience in radio, he returned to the stage in George Jessel's production of Little Old New York at the 1939 World's Fair. Stone made his Broadway bow shortly afterward in Sidney Kingsley's The World We Make, and thereafter was seldom unemployed. In 1952, he began the first of many TV-series gigs when he replaced Philip Loeb as Jake on The Goldbergs; within a decade, he was averaging 20 TV appearances per year. In films from 1956, the harsh-voiced, authoritative Stone was most often seen as big-city detective (as in Hitchcock's The Wrong Man), generals, and gangsters (he was Frank Nitti in 1967's St. Valentine's Day Massacre). Usually billed at the top of the supporting cast, Stone enjoyed a rare above-the-title starring assignment when he played investigator John Kennedy in the 1959 syndicated TV series Grand Jury. His other weekly-series roles included Hamilton Greeley (a character based on New Yorker maven Harold Ross) in My World and Welcome to It (1969) and Sam Steinberg in Bridget Loves Bernie (1972). In the latter stages of his career, Harold J. Stone unexpectedly found himself a favorite of Jerry Lewis, co-starring in Lewis' The Big Mouth (1967), Which Way to the Front? (1970) and Hardly Working (1980).

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